Clippers Hoots and Hollers Week 2: Jamal Crawford explodes


The Los Angeles Clippers have an up-and-down week with injuries to both Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. To break it all down, Nate Head continues his Hoots and Hollers series.

Overall record: 6-4

Record last week: 2-2

Western Conference standing: 5th


1. Jamal Crawford coming alive

Crawford wasn’t underperforming, but there is no denying that the first week or two of the season wasn’t his best, turning in clunkers against Golden State and Houston, where the reigning Sixth Man winner struggled to find his way and shot just 27.7 percent in those two contests. This week, however, Crawford seems to have found his step and is showing spurts of the flashy energy that Crawford provides when he’s at his best. In four games this week, the 35-year-old averaged just shy of 20 points (19.8) and shot 40.1 percent from the field, highlighted by his 37 point, eight assist, six rebound outburst that played a monumental role in the comeback victory against Detroit on Saturday.

2. Blake Griffin stays hot

Griffin the scorer is here to stay. After a scorching week from the field to open the season, the dynamic forward didn’t break his stride, averaging 22.5 points on 48.9 percent shooting in the last four contests. Injuries to Chris Paul and J.J. Redick have shifted the scoring duties squarely on Griffin’s shoulders, and he has responded by relentlessly attacking the rim, finding easy buckets in transition, and knocking down mid-range jumpers. With Paul and Redick’s timetable for return still up in the air, Griffin will need to continue to maintain his scoring production for the Clippers’ struggling offense.


1. Bench continues to disappoint

Entering the season, many were excited to see the Clippers’ nearly brand new bench in action. Following an underwhelming performance in week one, the injuries to Paul and Redick appeared to be the ideal scenario for reserves like Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Smith to settle into a rhythm coming off the pine. Instead, Pierce has yet to find his long-range shot, Stephenson’s lack of playing time has sparked interest from the L.A. Times, and Smith looks flat-out lost. On the bright side, Austin Rivers has proved his worth as a serviceable point guard behind Paul and Wesley Johnson has exceeded his expectations, which (to be fair), were low to begin with.

2. DeAndre Jordan on offense?

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To this point, Jordan’s presence on offense has been close to non existent. Take the ESPN showdown with Dallas on Wednesday night, a game that must have meant a bit more to Jordan than he led on to reporters, where his lack of touches were the root of Chandler Parsons’ postgame jab that attacked Jordan’s role (or lack thereof) on offense. Many of Jordan’s looks are the product of offensive rebounds or high-percentage opportunities on the fastbreak, rather than in the half-court offense, where I would like to see DeAndre post up and use his length for the Clippers once in a while.

What is next?

The Clippers have a relatively light week with only three games on tap. The Clippers play the white-hot Warriors on four days rest on Thursday night, the Blazers on Friday, and the Raptors on Sunday afternoon. Without a doubt, the Clips will benefit from these days off, and hopefully get a few things sorted out while getting healthy.

Nate’s Player of the Week:

Jamal Crawford.